• Canon Anxiety?

    Karen Cook (see profile)
    Education and Pedagogy, Game Studies
    Historiography, Ludomusicology, Musicology, Video games
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    Canons—of music, video games, or people—can provide a shared pool of resources for scholars, practitioners, and fans; but the formation of canons can also lead to an obscuring or devaluing of materials and people outside of a canon. The four authors in this colloquy interrogate issues of canons relating to video game music and sound from a variety of perspectives. Each author considers an aspect of canonization and argues for a wider purview. In “Rewritable Memory: Concerts, Canons, and Game Music History,” William Gibbons examines the ways in which concerts of video game music may create canons and reinforce partic- ular historical narratives. In “On Canons as Music and Muse,” Julianne Grasso views the music originally pre- sented in a video game as itself a type of canon and argues that official and fan arrangements of original game music may provide windows into lived experiences of play. In “The Difficult, Uncomfortable, and Imperative Conversations Needed in Game Music and Sound Studies,” Hyeonjin Park highlights issues of diversity and representation in the field of video game music and sound studies, with respect to the people and music that make up the subjects of the field, the people who produce scholarship in the field, and the people who engage with game music and sound. In “Canon Anxiety?” Karen Cook pulls together various issues of academic can- ons to question the scope, focus, and diversity of the growing field in which the Journal of Sound and Music in Games exists.
    Published in “Colloquy: Canons of Game Music and Sound,” Journal of Sound & Music in Games 1, no. 1 (2020): 95–99. doi: 10.1525/jsmg.2020.1.1.95
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